Posts Tagged ‘Bhartiya Janata Party’

A Future India Must Do Without

January 4, 2010

By Badri Raina, ZNet, Jan 3, 2010

Badri Raina’s ZSpace Page

“Genius: a person who has a strong influence upon one for good or ill.”

(Advanced Oxford Dictionary)

I

All of the year gone by, India’s corporate classes—in sundry areas of material control, including the media—have been pushing and prodding the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) to return from the dumps to health and vigour. Editorially this Hindu right-wing formation has been reminded how the nation cannot do without them.

Alas, at the end of it all, its unedifying, even if highly diverting, internal squabbles have been for now set to right, not by its own autonomous political exertions, but per diktat of the RSS—a fascist outfit wholly extraneous to the Constitutional scheme of the Republic.

Brushing aside the many hopefuls within the BJP, Nitin Gadkari, a self-confessed RSS devotee who has never yet won an election to an assembly, not to speak of the parliament, has been installed as President of the BJP vide explicit decree of the RSS.

Continues >>

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Raina: The Democracy Flu

August 26, 2009

Breaches in the Bastions

By Badri Raina, ZNet, Aug 26, 2009

Badri Raina’s ZSpace Page

Things fall apart,
The centre cannot hold;

Delicious democracy is loosed upon India.

(With apologies to W.B. Yeats for the distorted third line.)

I.

Ah, how often in human history have bastions of one kind or another sought to thwart the march of the rational, always without success.

And what more rational than democracy.

Recall that after the leveling tendencies of the Reform Bill of 1832, and the ominous mass assertions that accompanied that zeitgeist, some famous Oxford dons got together to demand that English Christianity return to its Roman roots.

Ostensibly directed against liberalizing movements in theology, Newmanism and Puseyism were at bottom terrified responses to those mass democratic assertions for full realizations of the principle of equality.

The mutely stated assumption was that the Protestant Reformation had broken the embankments of the infallibly centralized authority of the Pontiff, and thereby let loose the demons of anarchy. Thus their call (1833-1845) to reintroduce medieval liturgies into Church doctrine, and to return to Rome. Which Newman did in 1845.

History, nonetheless, carried on, consigning the Tractarians and their many Tracts to a residual past that could have no future.

Same with the Arnoldian prescription that only the classical “best” ( “Culture,” he called it) could salvage the depredations wrought by undeserving little men seeking parity with the elect. Thankfully, over the last century and a half, Culture has been inundated by cultures, and men and women everywhere in the world express themselves severally, freed from the diktats of self-appointed elites.

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India’s right-wing Bhartiya Janata Party: searching a new subterfuge?

June 30, 2009

By Badri Raina | ZNet, June 30, 2009

Badri Raina’s ZSpace Page

I

Wasn’t there a playwright who penned Six Characters in Search of an Author?

Well, India has a “major” political party that seems forever in search of a programme.

It is called the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP).

But, hang on; unlike the famous play cited above, the BJP’s interminable project is, in fact, not to find the author/programme but to constantly hide the one and only it has.

That author of its unreal being is the RSS, the so-called cultural organization that was established by India’s right-wing, Brahmanism in 1924 in order to direct the anti-colonial freedom movement towards the formulation of a majoritarian Hindu Rashtra, in opposition to the secular and pluralist ideals of the then Congress-led national movement.

Staunch adherent to that time-tested instrument of social and every other oppression in India, the caste hierarchy or varna vyavastha,  three dominant principles have constituted its raison d’ etre:

–an unrelenting hegemony of the upper castes over Hindu thought and practice;

–an unrelenting crusade against the Muslims whom it regards as alien to the land, and chief enemies of India’s “cultural essence”;

–a close embrace with militarist imperialism and with the systemic economic underpinnings that make such militarism and imperialism possible and necessary.

Not till 1949 did this organization declare its allegiance to the Indian Tricolour as comprising the undisputed icon of the new nation, and then too under duress and as a quid pro quo to the Nehru government’s willingness to release from prison its big chief or sarsangchalak who had been locked up as a consequence of the banning of the RSS after the Gandhi murder in 1948.

Only then was the RSS literally coerced into framing its constitution and putting on record its allegiance to the flag.

The fact that it still remains unreconciled to the Indian Constitution was borne out when the Vajpayee-led NDA regime (1999-2004) constituted a Constitution Review Committee, designed to alter some of the basic features of the Republic.

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